Monday, June 17, 2024

About demand for jobs and future for youths


By Dr Lubinda Haabazoka

This week, ZRA had thousands turn up for aptitude tests competing for just a few job spaces. Many condemned ZRA for allowing such a huge number of people to come and attend. Many suggested that ZRA should have used new information technology to conduct their interviews. However, ZRA did the right thing.

First when ZRA advertised for those jobs, they set out minimum requirements for applicants. So it was going to be unfair not to invite for interviews anyone who met these requirements. I have seen companies not shortlist candidates who meet the requirements! At law, that is wrong especially that in this case ZRA is a public institution.

Secondly, ZRA could not have used online aptitude tests because connectivity in Zambia is not up to standard and also verification of who is actually writing the tests was going to be difficult. In this case ZRA was still going to need space to verify those that were writing.

In the 90s, the then Burseries committee now Loans Board advertised for 18 Scholarships for school leavers wishing to study in Russia. I was among the applicants. We were expected to write aptitude tests in Additional Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Over 3500 people turned up for the written interviews! I remember that day very well when top performers from all over the country showed up just for 18 spaces!!! Fast forward, I was among the few picked to go and study economics. By the time I was doing my second year in Russia, I was informed UNZA had also accepted me to study economics. I never came back off course.

So that said, it’s perfectly normal to compete in huge numbers so long those shortlisted meet the criteria. What we need to do is to create more job opportunities for the many youths that are on the streets.

When I say government’s involvement in running mines and opening new companies, I also speak for the many youths that remain unemployed. Look at how easy government created jobs for teachers and health care personnel! Imagine if government had a firm grip on the mining sector and IDC had created a lot of companies in the country, it was going to be easy to recruit in large numbers! China with over a billion people has No unemployment issues! Russia in fact is short of people to work!!!

Our private sector is effective taxes well above 60% has no chance to expand and create jobs! The many taxes and fees one has to pay is a huge hindrance to job creation!!! Even entrepreneurship needs capital and skills which unfortunately are lacking in Zambia.

To be honest, in Zambia many people are educated just to get the paper and not to resolve issues on the ground. If we were rightly educated, we would not have been fighting each other but poverty!

No one will ever develop Zambia unless ourselves. Our youths now spend 24/7 in WhatsApp groups doing nothing. We need to change our mindset and develop a wining mentality! We need to declare war on poverty of the mind first. Then secondly fight poverty of the stomach. After that we need to innovate!!! Making money should be priority number one!


  1. Lubinda is back to writing articles now …really laughable…the PF gravy train that used to fund him is gone now!!

  2. The youths are running on the Field looking for a goal post. Look at that a good combination of passes. They unite to score…..they shoot…it hit the cross bar!

  3. The Government should create an enabling environment for young people to start their own businesses. The numbers of young people looking for formal jobs in our country is frightening.

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